“Latvian Literature” spends almost 140 000 euros publishing works abroad

Latvian Literature export platform “Latvian Literature” spent 138 829 euros in 2019 translating and publishing 29 works of Latvian literature abroad, and after its public “Don’t Erase!” (Nedzēs ārā!) campaign the platform managed to secure the necessary financing from the Ministry of Culture to continue operations in 2020, the platform announced on January 8.

“We hope to find works of Latvian literature even more publishers from Europe and the world’s biggest languages, bring industry media journalists and large literature festival organizers to Latvia, attract even more translators to our literature and surprise book fair guests with new #iamintrovert campaign activities,” said Latvian Literature Representative Juta Pīrāga.

Latvian Literature's "Don't Erase!" campaign

“Latvian Literature” also organizes participation in international book markets and industry events. Platform representatives are very excited about last year’s discussions on Latvia potentially becoming a Frankfurt Book Fair host country.

“Of course the industry’s greatest common goal is to become a Frankfurt host country in the future,” said Pīrāga.

Last year 157 Latvian industry representative attended literary festivals, seminars, book fairs, workshops and other events for professionals. Latvia had a national stand at book fairs in London, Leipzig, Bologna and Frankfurt, but industry professionals attended 11 more book fairs around the world.

“Latvian Literature” also organized two foreign industry representative fact-finding visits to Latvia, as well as an annual prose translation workshop, poetry translation workshop, translator meetups and two “Conversations” conferences about book design and publication.

The most popular of the 29 Latvian literary works translated in 2019 was Nora Ikstena’s novel “Mother’s Milk” (“Mātes piens”). The works were translated into 25 different languages including French, Japanese, Tamil, Korean, Chinese and others, and on average around 4 800 euros were spent on the translation and publication of each book.

As LSM.lv reported in April 2019, the "IAmIntrovert" campaign of Latvian Literature was named the best piece of Latvian design for the year 2019 at the annual Latvian Design Awards on April 4. As previously reported numerous times, the campaign was launched in 2017 and initially met with some skepticism, but has gradually won over a legion of fans with Introverted clothes, books and even beer appearing along the way.

A more detailed list of works and supporters is available on the “Latvian Literature” website.

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